The Tahoe Second Life® Linden Homes are A-frames with that cool mountain feel. But the sloping walls create this funky useless space where the walls meet the floor. In many real world A-frame a half-wall is used to create a low vertical interior wall which squares off the floor area and allows furniture to look more “normal”. In Second Life you can easily create a set of half-walls for your Tahoe home, topped with a contrasting trim for definition. More good news: through a little trick with the shape of the walls you can create the walls using only a single prim/land unit for BOTH walls! Better yet, it is reasonably easy to do and costs nothing!
Here’s what the finished half walls look like installed in a Tahoe Maple floorplan. This home also has a loft and ceiling down-lights added to it. For instructions on how to add those see my articles on how to make a Tahoe Loft and a Down Light.
The secret to making 2 walls while only using a single prim/land unit is to use a single channel-shaped prim. Or to explain it differently, the prim is U-shaped when viewed from the end. Because prims are not physical they can be placed inside or through other prims. So the bottom of the single U shaped prim can be lowered below the floor level of the house. That leaves only the two upright “walls” exposed and visible. A picture will help you visualize this, so I’ll take the walls out to a sandbox where you can see them without the house around them:
Building the Half Walls
Start be rezzing a cube onto the floor. Then edit it as follows to create the half-walls for your A-frame.
Click on the General tab and give your prim a name. The default values are fine for the rest of the settings on this tab.
OK, now click on the “Object” tab. This is where we create the U-shaped prim so that we can make two walls with a single prim. It sounds tricky but is really pretty easy.
Start with the “Hollow” setting on the right side of the edit dialog. Set it to 95.0, which is the maximum it will go to. This will create a hollow square tube shape.
Now we need to cut a path through the tube so that it becomes a U-shaped channel. Under “Path Cut” set the beginning “B” value to 0.40 and then set the end “E” value to 0.850. This will remove one entire side from the square tube and part of the other sides to create a U-shaped channel consisting of a base (floor) and two side walls.
Now that you have created a channel shape you can place it in your house. Just rotate and move it around until the walls are aligned with the house walls. Then lower it down so the base of the U-shaped channel disappears just below the floor of the house.
Next adjust the size of the channel to fit your house. One way to do this is under the “Size (meters)” heading adjusting the X,Y, and Z values to change the size. But an easier way is to select the “Stretch” radio button in the top section of the edit window and drag the sides of the channel to the locations you want.
Now adjust the appearance. Click on the “Texture” tab. Click on the texture box and select a texture. I used LDPW_TAH_Interior_Side_Wall_Paint_White. (See the repeats, rotation and offset settings I used in the image at left, the texture selection is shown in the next image down. ) This is a white painted wood wall texture that Second Life uses in the Tahoe series Linden Homes. You can get a copy of the texture free at the Tahoe InfoHub.
(To find the Tahoe InfoHub open your “World Map” while standing near a Tahoe Home. Pan around the map to find the InfoHub for the neighborhood. It is labeled on the map with an “i” symbol. Teleport there and look for a product board that allows you to buy the Tahoe Home textures ( L$0 -free!) The textures will be placed in your inventory. See my article on making a loft for a more detailed explanation with images of how to get textures for all the various Linden Homes.)
Once you have selected a texture you can also select a color by clicking on the panel labeled “Color”. Most textures work best with white, although you can sometimes tint a texture by selecting a different color.
Now to give some contrast to the top of the walls we will change the texture on them to a stained wood appearance. Adding contrast on the top helps orient the top of the walls visually, especially if the A-frame ceiling/walls are a similar color.
The optimum would be to create a separate prim for a decorative board on top of the half-wall. But rather than use up two additional prims, you can use an optical illusion that nobody will notice unless they zoom in and look really close. Just add a wood texture to the top face of the wall. Because of the high camera angle used by most avatars, the top of the wall will appear to be a separate board.
Start by clicking on the “Select Face” radio button in the top section of the edit window. Now click on the top of one of the walls to select it. You will probably have to zoom your camera in to click on the top of the wall. Make sure that only the top of the wall is selected!
Now select a texture pattern for the wall top. I used the LDPW_TAH_Interior_Roof_WoodPlanks texture from the same Tahoe textures collection mentioned above. You can see the settings I used with it at the left. You may need to experiment with the setting to get something you like. But to be honest, it is not very obvious so few people will look closely to see if your wood pattern grain is perfect! Note your settings and repeat for the top of the other wall.